Georgetown University Medical Center Presents 2013 Cura Personalis Award

Posted in News Release

WASHINGTON Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) presents its highest honor, the 2013 Cura Personalis Award today to Ronald M. Harden, OBE, MD, FRCP, FRCS, FRCPC, a global leader in medical education. The Cura Personalis medal and citation will be presented during the medical center’s Sixth Annual GUMC Convocation.

The Cura Personalis Award is bestowed upon a health professional who has made outstanding contributions to human health guided by compassion and service. The Catholic, Jesuit concept of cura personalis, which translates as care of the whole person, suggests individualized attention to the needs of others, distinct respect for unique circumstances and concerns, and an appropriate appreciation for singular gifts and insights. This is the founding principle of GUMC and has special significance for the scientific and educational missions of the university.

“Dr. Harden embodies the qualities ofcura personalis through his service, and through his dedication to pioneering innovative strategies of educational excellence for future generations of physicians and care givers,says Howard J. Federoff, MD, PhD, executive vice president for health sciences at GUMC and executive dean of Georgetown’s School of Medicine. “It will be an honor to present him with our highest award as his goals and values reflect GUMC’s dedication to higher education in science and medicine. Harden’s exemplary leadership in the education of physicians is inspiring.”

Harden is committed to developing new approaches to curriculum planning and assessment, and to teaching and learning. His innovations in medical education include the Objective Structured Clinical Examination, known as the OSCE, which has been universally adopted as a standard approach to assessing clinical competence.

Convocation brings together GUMC faculty, students and staff for a unified celebration of academic prowess, recognizing unique and outstanding achievements in research, education and service of faculty and students across GUMC.

Harden’s selection for the Cura Personalis Award coincides with GUMC’s elevated focus on biomedical education. In the spring, GUMC launched the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education (CENTILE), one of GUMC’s strategic planning initiatives. The mission of CENTILE is foster an inter-professional community of educators that drives innovation, excellence and scholarship in education at GUMC.

Harden graduated from medical school in Glasgow, United Kingdom. He completed training and practiced as an endocrinologist before moving full time into medical education.  

He is professor emeritus of medical education at the University of Dundee and professor of medical education at Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, editor of Medical Teacher, and general secretary and treasurer of the Association for Medical Education in Europe. He was formerly teaching dean and director of the Centre for Medical Education at the University of Dundee.  

Harden has published more than 400 papers in leading journals. He is co-editor of the best-selling book titled “A Practical Guide for Medical Teachers.” His new text, “Essential Skills for a Medical Teacher – An Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Education,” was published in June 2012.

Harden’s contributions to excellence in medical education have attracted other awards including an honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians, Surgeons of Canada, the prestigious Hubbard Award by the National Board of Medical Examiners and recognition by the Kellogg Foundation for his contributions to medical education in South America. He was awarded by the Queen the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to medical education.

About Georgetown University Medical Center

Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis — or “care of the whole person.” The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization, which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.